Name: Athifa Ali Position: Junior Professional Officer – Rural Employment Duty: Accra, Ghana Nationality: Maldivian
What prompted you to apply for a position at FAO? I first learned about FAO’s work while working with the Maldivian Ministry of Planning and National Development, and collaborated with FAO and other donors on the Recovery and Reconstruction efforts after the 2004 Tsunami. Then, later in Peru, while doing field work for a Msc in Managing Rural Development, I conducted some focus group discussions with an Andean community where FAO with a local NGO was implementing a food security relief project to assist vulnerable families affected by the cold wave (improved potato and bean varieties and protecting alpaca/llama/sheep etc), which further provoked my interest. So, when the FAO Junior Professionals Programme was announced, I thought it was the right opportunity for me to contribute to and gain a better understanding of FAO’s work.
What are you most proud of in your work? The opportunity to be located close to the people for whom we work for. It’s very rewarding when you go the field, and see the impact FAO’s work is having on people’s lives.
What does a normal day at work look like for you? I don’t think one particular day reflects the work we do. Some days goes by in internal meetings and reading work related documents while other days am out on the field. Currently I am working on integrating rural employment issues within the work of other technical officers’ in the Regional Office for Africa (RAF).
What advice would you give someone wishing to join FAO? Be committed , be flexible and remain curious.